Great Hollow Awards Research Grant to UConn Student

Great Hollow

Great Hollow awards small grants to students and professional scientists to support biological research at and beyond our preserve. We are pleased to announce the first recipient of one of these grants is Nicholas Russo, an undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut, for his project entitled “Avian Spring Migration as a Dispersal Mechanism for an Invasive Insect Pest.” This spring and summer, Nick will be studying the spread of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid by migrating and resident songbirds at several study sites in central and western Connecticut, including Great Hollow Nature Preserve. The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is a non-native, invasive insect that kills eastern hemlock trees and is presently estimated to have infested over 45% of the tree’s current range throughout eastern North America. Birds that perch and feed in infested trees may spread the insect when they fly to non-infested trees, possibly over very long distances, but this has not been well-studied. Nick’s research will help elucidate the potential role of birds in the dispersal of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and improve the ability of mathematical models to predict the future range expansion of this highly invasive pest that is radically changing the composition of eastern North American forests.

Comments are closed.